BY:VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Business Mogul and Billionaire Industrialist, Prince Arthur Eze, expressed shock at the high level of industrialization under the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration in Cross River State.
Commending Ayade for his vision and foresight, the business mogul said nowhere in Africa has he seen such widespread industries undertaken by a state government.
Speaking shortly after inspecting the various industries already completed at the Ayade Industrial Park, Eze quipped: “I have never seen such a thing anywhere in Africa. I have travelled round East, West and North Africa, but I haven’t seen such. The people of Cross River are lucky to have this young man as governor who is creating a lot of jobs for the teeming unemployed young people with the intent to create even more and this gives hope for the future.”
He further added that “Ayade is indeed a wonderful human being and God will bless him for what he is doing in Cross River.”
Noting that the feat accomplished by Governor Ayade could only be likened to extracting water from a rock, the billionaire business said: “This state had oil wells, but those wells were long taken away and given to another state, but God sent you a good leader to take care of you and chart a new course for Cross River. Ayade has used the wisdom God bestowed on him to run the affairs of this state and I urge you all to join hands with him and build something that will be even more long lasting than oil, which is agriculture.”
Disclosing possible areas of collaboration with the Cross River State government, Eze who has placed orders for the supply of face shields produced from the state’s garment factory, offered: “Whatever Ayade does, I am interested in it, infact, anyway he needs me, I will follow him because he is a young man with so much wisdom and energy.”.
While being conducted round the rice seedling and seeds multiplication factory, Chief Eze promised to support the factory with 1000 bags of rice seeds, just as he requested land for the cultivation of ginger for export..
Governor Ayade, while thanking Prince Eze for his visit as well as his interest in investing in the state’s agro-alied economy, said: Arthur Eze, conscious of the philosophy of President Buhari’s Nigeria without oil road map , has decided to divert part of his wealth from oil business into agriculture, not necessarily for profit but for the philosophical basis of creating jobs, putting food on the table and creating a horizon of opportunities for young men and women, irrespective of state of origin.”
Continuing, the governor said: “I want to commend you and thank you because you also intend to go into rice production and any other agricultural value chain. So I am excited by your interest in our agro-alied value chain.
“As a state, we have invested in 33 industries and those industries cannot be run and operated by government. So we need to find a third party that will take them off government and have private investors and private men who have proven intergrity, character, honour and clean money of this nature to come in and take part of those Investments, either through a concessionaire mechanism or outright privatization or a partnership on royalty of some sorts. And that has become critical and urgent for us to actually divest some of our Investment and hold back and watch.”.